KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With winter weather continuing to bring dangerous conditions around the metro, training programs are preparing future truck drivers to be as safe as possible on the road.
Frank Perez, who has driven commercial trucks for the past 15 years, serves as an instructor for a program through Johnson County Community College.
This time of year, he said truck drivers needed to stay extra aware.
“Being a truck driver in the winter is a lot of stress,” said Perez. “When you’re driving on top of snow and you have whiteout conditions, your trailer can actually come around if you’re driving too fast.”
On Wednesday, 41 Action News joined Perez on the road to get a glimpse of what truck drivers deal with.
During his classes, Perez often stresses the importance of new truck drivers going the proper speed and giving enough distance between vehicles.
However, the instructor pointed out on Wednesday an instance of at least one truck driver driving too closely behind a car.
Following the tragic 47-vehicle crash last week outside Kansas City, Perez said newer truck drivers needed to consistently practice safe habits on the road.
“It takes one truck driver to make every truck driver look bad,” he said. “I always tell them you have to think about safety first. You’ve got to think about accountability.”
Later this week, 25-year-old Mark Dunn expects to complete his training with JCCC.
After experiencing the sessions, he understood the importance of being safe on the roads.
“There’s a lot more dangerous driving in the winter. The roads here are a lot more slicker,” he said. “You want to get home and see your families at the end of the day and you want to make sure others get home and see their own families.”
With truck driving putting drivers face to face with dangerous conditions on the road, Frank Perez hoped his lessons could help potentially save lives moving forward.
“Rule #1 of any truck driver: If weather is bad, find a safe place to park and call it a day,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to reschedule your load than you get into an accident or cause an accident.”
For more information on the JCCC commercial truck driving program, visit this link .